- Title: Thousands flee rebel-held Idlib as Syrian army advances
- Date: 25th December 2019
- Summary: NORTH OF IDLIB, SYRIA (DECEMBER 25, 2019) (REUTERS) MEN WALKING NEXT TO TENTS IN MAKESHIFT CAMP DISPLACED PEOPLE STANDING NEXT TO TENTS MAN USING SPADE NEXT TO TENT PEOPLE NEXT TO TENTS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AT MINISTRY OF DEVELOPMENT, MOHAMMAD GHAZAL, SAYING : "The number of families that registered with our documents reached 8,000 today. The total number of dispelled people from Maarat al Numan and its surrounding areas, including Jabal al Zawyah, reached approximately 22,000. The 8,000 people who are registered with us are distributed into three shelters, one that is located in Sarmada, the second one is located in Idlib city, the third one is in Harib." PEOPLE OUTSIDE TENTS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE TAKING ITEMS OUT OF TRUCK AND PUTTING THEM INSIDE TENT PEOPLE WALKING BY TENTS PEOPLE STANDING NEXT TO TRUCK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) DISPLACED MAN FROM RURAL MAARAT AL NUMAN, MOHAMMAD AJAJ, SAYING : "We came from Kafr Roma due to shelling to this camp. We hardly survive in this camp as it is full of mud. People are suffering from cold weather conditions. May, God help us." MAN AND CHILD WALKING THROUGH CAMP / CHILD RUNNING PEOPLE GATHERED / COOKING POTS PEOPLE PREPARING AND COOKING FOOD MAN AND CHILDREN GATHERED / TAKING FOOD FROM SURFACE PEOPLE WALKING THROUGH CAMP MAKESHIFT TENTS PEOPLE GATHERED INSIDE MOSQUE VARIOUS OF MEN SITTING NEXT TO HEATER INSIDE MOSQUE VARIOUS OF MAN AND BABY SITTING ON BED VARIOUS OF PEOPLE INSIDE BUILDING CHILD STANDING TRUCK DRIVING / PARKED VEHICLES GRAFFITI ON WALL MOTORCYCLES PARKED / PEOPLE GATHERED MOTORCYCLES PARKED
- Embargoed: 8th January 2020 16:22
- Keywords: Russian and Syrian air strikes drove thousands of civilians far from Idlib Syria Syria security displaced syria conflict
- Location: NORTH OF IDLIB, SYRIA
- City: NORTH OF IDLIB, SYRIA
- Country: Syria
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA001BBH4SW7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Russian and Syrian air strikes have driven thousands of civilians far from Idlib, and have forced them to settle inside mosques, schools and makeshift camps.
As government forces have thrust into the southeast of Idlib over the past two weeks, thousands of people have fled Maarat al-Numan. The city has been a refuge for families who had already fled other areas of Syria recaptured by Damascus earlier in an 8-1/2-year-old civil war.
Video footage obtained by Reuters on Wednesday (December 25) showed a large number of refugees, mostly coming from Maarat al Numan and its surrounding areas, residing inside an empty building, one mosque and a makeshift camp amid harsh weather.
A total of 40 families settled inside an empty building, 650 families resided inside a mosque and 400 families settled inside a makeshift camp. All temporary shelters are located north of Idlib.
A Russian-led aerial bombing campaign has helped Syrian government forces close in on the strategic city, a major factor in the civilian fight further north, closer to the Turkish border.
The offensive has killed scores of civilians, as well as sparking an exodus of at least 80,000 people throughout the Idlib province, including 30,000 in the past week alone, the United Nations said on Monday (December 23).
(Production: Muath Freij / Hannah Ellison)
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